Description… and where to find the best paid jobs
What is a Flight Attendant?
Sometimes called a Flight Steward, Airline Hostess or Air Hostess, a Flight Attendant is responsible for the safety and comfort of passengers.
What do Flight Attendants do?
Flight attendant job description and duties:
- Ensure cabin is clean, tidy and presentable prior to passengers boarding the aircraft
- Ensure emergency equipment is working correctly
- Greeting passengers as they board the aircraft
- Guiding and assisting passengers to be seated
- Performing a passenger safety briefing
- Monitor, manage and secure the cabin for takeoff and landing
- Serving food and beverages during the flight
- Attending to passenger requests during flight
- Ensure all aviation rules and regulations are adhered to
- Assist passengers and crew during emergency situations
- Prepare and submit reports on flight incidents
Flight Attendant requirements and skills
Requirements can differ between employers however the most common requirements are:
- Completed High School
- Work experience related to the job such as customer service working in hospitality
- Minimum and maximum height requirements – these can differ between airlines, but are usually between 163cm – 183cm
- Maximum weight requirements – these can also differ between airlines
- Minimum age of 18yo – there is no maximum age requirement (you can be an older Flight attendant)
- Physically fit to do a range of tasks such as pushing, pulling, lifting (i.e. ability to lift a 28kg aircraft window exit)
- First aid certificate
- Ability to serve alcohol responsibly
- Good communication and listening skills
- Ability to deal with stressful situations calmly and effectively
- Willingness to relocate
- Fluency in another language is a bonus
- Background check for any previous convictions etc
- Tattoos must be able to be concealed by your uniform or makeup
There are male flight attendants and female flight attendants.
Are you looking for Flight Attendant Positions? Find them here
Flight Attendant schedule - How many hours do Flight Attendants work?
Work is usually scheduled to be between 9 and 20 days per month depending on the airline and flight attendant seniority. A work schedule is not a standard 9 to 5 work week. Flight Attendants work on flights (international or domestic) then immediately have days off. Work can be full time or part time. You may be rostered as a reserve flight attendant. Schedules can be flexible and are set by a Crew Schedule Coordinator.
What airline pays the most for Flight Attendants?
Working as a Flight Attendant
The life of a flight attendant can be a busy one. A typical day can look like this:
- Wake up at 3am
- Pack clothes for at least 4 days
- Pack some food for lunches and snacks (or buy it on the way)
- Arrive at the airport at 4am
- Check into first flight (if you’re not ready a reserve flight attendant will take your place)
- Board flight and go through the pre-flight briefing with the other cabin crew
- Perform pre-flight checks (including safety, cleanliness and food supplies etc)
- Board the passengers and ensure all are seated with seat belts fastened
- Perform the safety briefing
- Arm the doors and cross check prior to takeoff
- After takeoff, when the aircraft has leveled out, serve food, snacks and drinks
- Prior to landing, ensure all passengers are seated, tray tables stowed, seat belts fastened and seats are in the upright position
- Once the aircraft has landed, say goodbye to the passengers then prepare the cabin for a quick turnaround to be ready for another flight
- You may decide to rush into the airport to grab a snack or coffee before your next flight
Being a flight attendant working domestically can mean flying multiple flights per day. Flying internationally means your flights are longer and your break between flights is longer.
Flight attendants who look after passenger needs are most sought after by airlines.
Are you looking for Private Jet Flight Attendant jobs? Find them here
Flight Attendant Day
May 31st is International Flight Attendant Day (also known as International Cabin Crew Day). This is the day where passengers and the general public are asked to recognise their long hours and commitment to customer service.
Looking for airline Flight Attendant Jobs?
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How To Become A Flight Attendant
Becoming a flight attendant usually requires customer service training in a similar industry such as hospitality. There are also Flight Attendant schools and colleges that provide training, courses, qualifications and certifications. There are no formal qualifications required however. You don’t need a degree to be a flight attendant.
You can become an Airforce Flight Attendant by attending a military academy and classes.
How long does it take to become a flight attendant?
If you have the required customer service experience you can be employed very quickly.
Is it hard to become a flight attendant?
This is a profession in demand. There is a high degree of competition to get into the industry so airlines can afford to be selective. Attending the best flight attendant schools can increase your chances of being employed.
How long is flight attendant training?
This depends on your experience. Contacting schools who offer training is your best guide.
How much is flight attendant school?
You should contact schools near you for this information. Each school, college or university charges differently. Generally though, training is not expensive.
Flight Attendant Salary - How much do flight attendants make?
Airlines, the military and other private employers set different rates for Flight attendant pay. Here is a guide to what a flight attendant wage is:
- Range – $40,000 per annum to $73,000 per annum (between $19 and $36 per hour)
- Average – Around $49,000 per annum (around $23.50 per hour)
In addition to their wage, flight attendant benefits include free or cheap flights for them, their family members and their friends.
Highest paid flight attendants
In a large market like the United States they work for:
- Southwest Airlines
- Delta Airlines
- United Airlines
- Alaska Airlines
Most other countries have a smaller number of airlines which means pay is similar.
Pros and cons of being a flight attendant
There are benefits and perks of being a flight attendant. Here are the pros and cons:
- Very cheap (or free) flights
- Cheap flights for friends and family
- Meeting new people
- Variety in your work day, environment and location
- Spectacular views from the plane
- Working weekends and public holidays
- Missing important family events because of scheduling
- Being on call (until you have enough seniority)
- Dealing with jet lag
- Long hours/days
How to apply to be a flight attendant
Search the best Flight Attendant Job Openings here
Are you looking for airlines hiring Flight Attendants?
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Flight Attendant Hiring?
Your Flight Attendant Application
Some resources to help you with your application:
Flight Attendant resume
Flight Attendant cover letter
To write a 4 sentence cover letter that will get you an interview, go here
Flight attendant interview questions and answers
- Why do you want to be a flight attendant?
Answer – I really enjoy making people feel welcome and important. I understand that being part of the cabin crew is more than just greeting people on take off, serving them food and drinks and then saying bye on landing. It’s about making people feel comfortable and doing what I can to help them enjoy their flight. It’s about anticipating their needs. Of course, I’m also very interested in the ability to travel that comes with being part of the cabin crew.
- What are your customer service strengths?
Answer – My strengths are helping people relax into their environment so they have an enjoyable experience. In regards to how this applies to a flight, I help people feel at ease and make them feel as comfortable as possible. I listen to passengers when they ask a question and try to answer or fulfill their expectations as much as possible.
- What have you done to resolve a challenging situation before in the past?
Answer – Communication is very important. Often, issues arise as a result of miscommunication between people so as a member of the cabin crew I make sure I communicate effectively with any passengers I converse with so they feel heard and their issue or want addressed. If I make a mistake it’s best to acknowledge it and apologise to the person or people involved, then fix the issue if possible.
- How would you handle a passenger who refuses to comply with instructions during take off, landing and in flight?
Answer – When I have communicated clearly to the passenger what they need to do and they refuse to comply I would explain to them the safety reasons for the instruction. If the passenger still refuses to comply I would ask another member of the cabin crew to reiterate the instruction. If the passenger still refused to comply I would then refer the matter to the Captain.
- What are the first things you would do during an emergency in flight?
Answer – The first thing to do is to stay calm and collected. I’m a role model for the passengers and I understand that they’ll look to me for guidance in the emergency situation. Depending on the emergency I would put on my own oxygen mask, then check where each exit door is and how many passengers I can move quickly but calmly towards each door.
- How comfortable are you in new environments, situations and being on flights for hours at a time?
Answer – I enjoy visiting new places and seeing new sites and I enjoy flying.
For airlines hiring Flight Attendants now, go here
Flight attendant interview outfit, dress and hair
Flight attendants project the public image of the airline so their presentation is important to an airline. To present correctly at an interview you need to show that you can present well for the airline.
- Clothing – Wear a shirt, knee length skirt, stockings or tights and a blazer
- Accessories – These should match your outfit and look professional
- Hair – Up in a bun is ideal.
- Makeup – This should be well done, with no bright colours
- Nails – Have a manicure and pedicure before the interview
- Clothing – Wear a suit, white shirt, tie, black belt, black shoes and black socks
- Accessories – A classic timeless style watch is perfect.
- Hair – Clean shaven with hair short and neat in a part
- Nails – have a manicure before the interview
Flight Attendant Similar Professions
If you can’t become a flight attendant or decide you don’t want to fly, some other professions you could consider are:
- Customer service representative
- Reservation and ticket agent
- Hotel desk clerk
- Counter and rental clerk
- Transportation security screener